The grant program aims to address challenges such as systemic oppression, organizational exclusion, institutional discrimination, neglectful policy, and violence against the minds, bodies and cultures of people of color.
“These research projects are an important part of the university’s work to examine systemic racism. Individually and collectively, they will deepen our understanding of the multifaceted effects of racism and contribute to finding ways to address it,” said Susan Collins, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at U-M.
Assistant Professor Nick Camp's Research Project:
Using Police Body Camera Footage to Experimentally Asses the Effects of Routine Police Encounters for Community Trust and Community Health
Racial inequities in American policing are at the forefront of public consciousness in 2020. This research project will evaluate the physiological stress Black and white people experience during routine traffic stops, offering insights on the relationship between policing and minority health. Study participants will listen to audio recordings of actual traffic stops, as recorded by police body cameras; half of the recordings will be randomly-selected traffic stops involving Black drivers and half will be randomly-selected traffic stops involving white drivers. Researchers will monitor study participants’ perceptions and physiological reactions to these encounters using galvanic skin conductance (GSR) and electrocardiography (EKG).
The study will offer insights into disparate police treatment of white and Black drivers as well as disparate impact of these interactions on white and Black people. By understanding the role of officer communication and the divergent ways people experience these routine police encounters, we can better intervene on these institutional interactions and train officers in communicating during routine interactions.
Professor Camp was also recently interviewed by LSA Magazine which delves further into his research on police violence and race. Read the article, Taking It on Trust by Susson Hutton.
The OS program is honored to have Nick as a member of the faculty, as well as the new faculty advisor for our ODI student organization. Nick studies the social psychology of racial inequality, looking at where individuals and institutions meet, like housing and police-community interactions. His Winter 2021 course, Racial Disparities in Policing: Causes, Consequences, and Correctives gets into these thorny issues, and research on ways we can address inequities.